Labor Day 2016 in Atlanta: Family-Friendly and Fun Events!

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. I have mixed feelings about that idea, but I DO love a 3-day weekend! Here is a list of some fun family events to hit up this weekend in Atlanta and the surrounding areas:

Stone Mountain Labor Day Celebration

Stone Mountain Park honors and appreciates our Everyday Working Heroes in a Labor Day Weekend celebration featuring the Lasershow Spectacular in Mountainvision® followed by epic fireworks display on all three nights (Saturday-Monday)!*

Callaway Gardens Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival

Soar into September at our 18th annual Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival. The weekend kicks off with the extraordinary Friday Night Balloon Glow and continues all weekend long. Watch beautiful balloons in flight or hop in a basket for your own tethered balloon ride. Saturday is filled with family-friendly events, including live music, beach activities, a Kids Zone and much more. There’s something for everyone with a classic car show, disc dog demonstrations, a pyrotechnic skydiving demonstration, as well as a 5K Race and Triathlon event. If you’re a photography buff, you can sign up for our hands-on “Mastering Night Photography” course. Plus, you’ll find drink specials and sports on the televisions at the Beach Bar. Cap off the weekend with a final balloon glow Sunday night on Robin Lake Beach. With this exciting line-up of events, surrounded by the natural beauty of Callaway Gardens, there’s no better way to say “farewell” to Summer 2016.*

AJC Decatur Book Festival

The AJC Decatur Book Festival is the largest independent book festival in the country and one of the five largest overall. Since its launch, more than 1,000 world-class authors and hundreds of thousands of festival-goers have crowded the historic downtown Decatur square to enjoy book signings, author readings, panel discussions, an interactive children’s area, live music, parades, cooking demonstrations, poetry slams, writing workshops, and more*.

Art in the Park, Marietta

Art in the Park will be celebrating its 30th year Anniversary as Marietta Square’s premier event celebrating the arts by featuring both local and national artist displaying their fine arts on Labor Day weekend. Widely acclaimed as one of the best fine art shows in Atlanta, and the only in Cobb County, this FREE Labor Day tradition in and around Glover Park appeals to patrons and budgets of all ages.*

Dragon Con Parade

Atlanta’s largest and most unique parade! Dragon con is a pop culture convention that focuses on sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, comics and related media.This event may not be suitable for some families with young ones.

Smokin’ Up The Mountains

BBQ & Brews is proud to present the first ever Smokin’ Up The Mountains BBQ and Craft Beer Festival in East Ellijay (in the field behind Longhorns) on Saturday, September 3rd – 12 noon to 8 p.m. Free Kid’s Area!*

Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival

The 11th Annual Grace Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival and Family Fun Day,
An International Food, Culture and Music Festival!*

Celebrate Freedom Concert Tour

Large, outdoor, FREE, day-long, music festival featuring Christian artists.

Avalon Oak + Coletta Labor Day Pig Roast

There’s no better way to spend Labor Day weekend than with a pig roast and cookout! Join Oak Steakhouse and Colletta on Sunday, September 4th from 5 to 8pm for an evening of food and fun for the whole family.

Enjoy a whole roasted pig, oysters, special sides and desserts in Palmer Plaza while listening to live music and sipping on cocktails to celebrate the end of summer. For the kids, there will also be an array of games and face painting to enjoy.*

IPRA World Championship Rodeo, Cumming

Bull Riding, Bare Back Riding, Barrel Racing, Cowgirl Breakaway Roping, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping and Saddle Bronc Riding.*

Summer Concert Series in Various Cities: 

Norcross

Lawrenceville

Roswell

 

And that’s all folks! I hope you have a beautiful and blessed holiday weekend!

 

*these descriptions have been taken directly from the individual event website

Not Perfect and Almost Proud

Hi friends. It’s been awhile. Between selling my house, downsizing to an apartment, moving my family to a new city, and then going on a much needed vacation, I completely neglected this blog, and my writing and personal interests in general.

My mind often swims with shoulds. Things that I “should be doing” or things that “should have been done” or things that “still need to be dealt with”. I think about all the ways I’m somehow ruining my kids lives or that I am setting a bad example. And then I start to feel sorry for my husband that he has such an inept woman for a wife and sorry for my kids that they aren’t getting enough of me. No one ever gets enough of me, in my opinion. There isn’t enough of me to give to everyone and still have time for myself.

I sometimes compare myself to every other mother/wife. Moms I know, moms I don’t know, moms I love, moms I’ve made up in my head. P.S. The ones in my head are always far more perfect and put together than me. I have struggled with this kind of thinking/comparing many times, although in all honestly it happens less and less the more life I live.

My house is a wreck. My apartment that is. My apartment feels like a wreck, and my old house felt like a wreck at the end, and it feels like I have been living in the midst of turmoil for weeks. There are toys everywhere. The dishes are piled up. There are garbage bags galore. Boxes and suitcases are still stacked all around. Clothing strewn on the floor. If someone saw this, I would be mortified. I also hate the thought thatt my kids would grow up thinking this kind of mess is normal.

Not Perfect bedroom

My floors are full of dirt and dust. My baby sits on my kitchen floor eating bits of garbage and three-week-old crumbs of who knows what. I hope she doesn’t come across one of her allergens :S

I feel terrible for Mr. Right. He is working all day to come home to a disorganized and dirty house. How is he supposed to feel at peace in this mess? Truth be told, that’s all in my head. I’m lucky enough to have a Mr. Right who doesn’t care too much about that sort of thing. I’m the one that cares. I’m the one who wants the house to be perfect for him. And the kids. And me.

For the few weeks during the move, I didn’t cook. My family subsided on sandwiches, Kraft dinner, and fruit, while other families were eating braised tenderloin, roasted fingerling potatoes and baby spinach salads with homemade dressing. That’s what facebook told me.

I have spent most of my life as an anxious person. I probably have higher expectations of myself than ANYONE else does. This sort of thing normally DRIVES ME CRAZY. Up until recently all of the above scenarios would have made me incredibly unhappy, incredibly anxious, incredibly insecure, and an all-around miserable person to be around.

I’m not certain how my perspective changed on all of it, and I definitely can’t pinpoint when it happened. All I know is that for some reason it affects me less right now. It’s not that it doesn’t affect me at all. It does. It’s just that I can still focus on where I want to be and where we are heading and that makes me happy and less bogged down by the current situation. Part of it I think came from wanting to simplify my life in other areas. You know, get rid of things that aren’t important to make room for things that are. That goal is still a work in progress and I get the feeling that it will forever be a work in progress, but I think that that mind set has seeped into other areas of my life. Sure, I’m not going to have a dinner party if my house is a wreck, but I also won’t be losing sleep over it. It’s not that important.

And I’m happier and a bit calmer in my anxious heart.

I’ve realized that it’s more important and beneficial to me and my families well-being if I am just present in the way I want to be present ~ whether that’s reading with the kids or whether that’s wasting away in front of my computer. If I embrace my choice, whatever it might be, I feel more “whole” than when I am striving for my own definition of perfection ( a clean house and a gourmet meal).

My kids freaking adore me. They don’t even know that I’m not perfect. Mr. Right just finished telling me that he is feeling very uxorious and then told me to look it up. He’s amazing. So lately, I have taken my cues from them and given myself the same loving kindness, cut myself some slack, and saved my sanity during this whole transition in the process. I have the best family.

 

What is God?

My beautiful son was born with an innate spirituality. The questions he has always asked and the comments he has made from a young age have always blown me away. I haven’t given him too many explanations on things other than that I believe in God, but not everybody does, and that I believe God is in everything.  I have had to be pragmatic in what I say because Mr. Right feels strongly that we shouldn’t “indoctrinate” him in any way. He wants our children to know our beliefs (which are a bit different), but to know that there are other ways of thinking and basically just give them the tools to make up their own minds about their own truth.

Declan has always maintained that even though others may not believe in God, in his heart he believes in Him. In my quest to try and impart my own values and spiritual beliefs and to try to answer some of his questions without telling him what he has to believe, I found a book that I thought might be a good starting point. It is called “What is God” by Etan Boritzer. We gave it to him for Christmas and I told him we would read it together sometime.

When I ordered it I had thought that I would read it before giving it to him to make sure it was aligned with my beliefs and with what Mr. Right would feel comfortable with, but with all the Christmas mayhem I didn’t have a chance before the big day. Yesterday I had a bit of free time, so I started reading it while eating my lunch. Declan had all but forgotten that he even had the book, but when he saw me reading it he came up curiously and with his newfound reading skills said ”What is God”? I said, “Yes. Remember we got you this book for Christmas. I wanted to read it first before reading it to you. It’s called “What is God.” This was his response:

“Awww I already know what God is! God is everything. He is a big spirit, but it’s not a boy or a girl because it is a spirit, not a body. We can’t see it. Unless we die, of course. When we die, we can see it clearly. And we have souls. Souls are the parts of God. So you see, I don’t need to read it.”

photo copy

Seems to me I wasted my money 🙂 I will read it to him anyway. Now that I’ve read it, I know that it is a lovely book that speaks to the connection between all people and things. It talks about many of the world’s religions and their common denominators. But really, who was I to think a book would speak his truth to him better than his own heart would? Once again, blown away.

Snippets of Love

This post is just a snippet of why I love my husband. Just a tiny glimpse. The snippet is that I am able to be the mother I want to be, and the mother that our kids deserve, because of his support.  Often we look at mothers and all they go through in a single day or single hour sometimes and we want to sing their praises for the little and big they dedicate their lives to. We mothers are deserving of it, but I can’t help to think that we don’t give enough credit to the dads and their contributions that allow us to do it all sanely. Especially in the first year after a new baby is born into a family, whether it’s the first baby or a subsequent baby, support is needed to function. Period.

My 11-month-old still doesn’t sleep through the night. Not even close. Recently, I have felt at the end of my rope with the lack of sleep and constant breastfeeding at night. It has been almost a year since I’ve had a full night of sleep, or even more than 3 hours of sleep at a time. I am the kind of person who before kids would frequently fall asleep at parties because I NEED 9-10 hours a night to function optimally. There was a year that our friends made fun of me because I had fallen asleep at every wedding of the summer. I am walking around in a cloud right now, but I don’t want to do CIO with her and I don’t feel like I can night-wean her until she gains more weight. Mr. Right doesn’t completely agree. But do you know what he has begun to do anyway? At least once a night, he gets up when the baby wakes up, brings her to our room, sticks her on my boob, and then takes her back to her bed when she is done. He does this so that I don’t have to completely wake up and I can get a tiny bit more rest than I would have. He would rather let her cry a bit, but because he knows it’s important to me not to do that, and because he knows I can’t physically handle much more sleeplessness, he does it.

Mr. Right works in Toronto, which is more often than not a 1 ½ – 2 hour commute each way. I am alone with the kids 12 hours a day on the regular. It’s hard. Do you know what he does when he comes home tired every night? He eats dinner with us with a smile on his face. He spends quality time with each of our kids. He bathes them. He works/commutes all day and then comes home to love us to pieces and give me a much needed break.

Mr. Right with Evita at one week old.

Mr. Right with Evita at one week old.

These are just 2 examples. Just two. Without them though, I wouldn’t be able to be the mother I am. When I feel like I will pull out my hair at the end of the day, I look at the clock and know he will be here soon and I regain a bit of sanity and strength. When I can barely keep my eyes open at night but am scared to fall asleep knowing that I will be awakened all too soon, I remember that I can count on him in the middle of the night when I need him and it gives me enough relief to go on another night without the amount of sleep I need. Thank you, my darling husband. Thank you.

This post will probably embarrass Mr. Right to no end. He probably won’t even want to read it. I don’t care. I don’t care because I also know he secretly, in the depths of his soul, loves how much I love and appreciate him. He loves that I love every square inch of him. He loves that I love every breath his lungs release. He loves that I love every beat his heart makes. So he will forgive me for this post, for this unadulterated view of our private affairs and the truths of my heart, because this post will remind him that I have always and will always love and appreciate All of Him.